Dozens of new drugs proliferate in Europe – report – RT World News
More than 50 new psychoactive substances were discovered in the past year, watchdog agency warns
Illegal drug manufacture is skyrocketing across Europe, according to the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), which revealed in a report on Tuesday that some 52 new psychoactive substances had been discovered in 2021.
« Established drugs have never been more accessible and powerful new substances continue to emerge… anyone can be affected, directly or indirectlysaid EMCDDA Director Alexis Goosdeel.
Among the new drugs coming out of European labs are amphetamines and methamphetamines, synthetic opioids and synthetic cannabinoids, according to the report.
Some 350 drug production facilities were discovered and destroyed in 2020, mostly in the Netherlands and Belgium, and a record 213 tonnes of cocaine were confiscated in the EU, the agency observed, calling on countries Europeans to strengthen drug treatment and harm reduction facilities.
The report notes that the conflict in Ukraine and NATO’s withdrawal from Afghanistan are likely to have an impact on drug trafficking, creating « new vulnerabilities“by exposing larger populations to illegal drugs, especially those who have suffered from them”significant psychological stress.“Given the flow of refugees out of Ukraine, health services in bordering countries risk being stretched to their limits,” he said.
In Ukraine, the conflict will likely create new smuggling routes as traffickers seek to “avoid areas with a heavy security presence« , according to the agency, while in Afghanistan, the growth « economic and humanitarian crisisis likely to contribute to an increase in the production and trafficking of illegal drugs, particularly opium poppy and the methamphetamine precursor ephedra which are already grown in volume there.
The first EU country decides to legalize cannabis for personal use
The EMCDDA is based in Portugal, which decriminalized the personal use and possession of previously illicit drugs in 2001 (treating them instead as an administrative offence) and has subsequently seen falling figures for overdoses and other measures related to damage.
Among other European countries, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands and Switzerland have decriminalized drug possession for personal use. Germany is moving towards legalizing the sale of cannabis for recreational purposes.
You can share this story on social media: